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Rick Paul
In Honor of 9-11-2001 "Attack on America"

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Help Us Understand
words and music by Rick Paul

Writing the song was somewhat therapeutic, as I think the process helped me examine a range of emotions, finally settling on the one that felt most "right" to me, that of seeking understanding first, then trying to deal with other aspects in light of whatever understanding might emerge.

Lyrics

From Rick:
Despite, like most people, having strong emotions about the events of September 11, 2001, I'd initially decided I would not write a song about it due to the possibility of its being perceived, or even feeling like, it was trying to capitalize on the tragedy. Then a guy on one of my mailing lists had suggested people on the list consider banding together to do some kind of joint project to potentially be used to help in some way, and the way he phrased it almost got me feeling like it was my duty as a songwriter to at least try. I sat around for a whole day trying to come up with something, going down various paths of conflicting emotions, initially hoping to write something uplifting, then going toward patriotic (but not wanting to be flag-waving), then something uplifting again, but nothing was really gelling -- each idea, though seeming promising at first, ended up feeling shallow. I decided I'd devote another day to trying to come up with something, but, if it was still going nowhere, I'd give up and try to move on. I think that, in the process of some more self-examination of my own feelings overnight, something must have started to settle in in terms of where my feelings were going, though, because, between the time I woke up the next day, and the time I was planning to try and start writing that morning, I'd come up with the basic idea that served as the outline for "Help Us Understand", and was confident I could write it and finish it, before I even typed one word into my computer. It took me a few days refining the words, with the help of a bit of feedback from some other writers on my first full draft, but the melody also came very quickly, and the final song as it stands now was actually completed in about three full days of writing, elapsed over about six days. Writing the song was somewhat therapeutic, as I think the process helped me examine a range of emotions, finally settling on the one that felt most "right" to me, that of seeking understanding first, then trying to deal with other aspects in light of whatever understanding might emerge.

Lyrics
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A little boy in his bedroom, tears streaming from his eyes
Fell to his knees as he cried
He said, "God, I know you can hear me, and you can do all kinds of things
If I can't have Mommy back, would you give her angel's wings"

Oh, Heavenly Father, please help us understand
Why so many suffer in this world that's in your hands
Though we trust you have your reasons
If this is part of your plan
Oh, please, please, help us understand

A young man from the suburbs called his wife from work that day
Said, "tell everybody I'm okay"
Then he paused, and told her he loved her, and she should hug the kids for him
They never saw his face or heard his voice again

Oh, Heavenly Father, please help us understand
Why so many suffer in this world that's in your hands
Though we trust you have your reasons
If this is part of your plan
Oh, please, please, help us understand

Oh it hurts so much
That it's hard to go on
One moment here
The next, they're just gone

Thousands of crying voices were silenced that dark day
All we could do was watch, and pray
So many who tried to help them would sacrifice their lives
As steel and concrete towers crumbled like ice

Oh, Heavenly Father, please help us understand
Why so many suffer in this world that's in your hands
Though we trust you have your reasons
If this is part of your plan
Oh, please, please, help us understand
Oh, please, please help us understand


2001 Closet Cowboy Music (ASCAP)
All Rights Reserved

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